Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Monday, March 2, 2015
ROMANCING THE VINES
Francesca Bernard is a vintner in the Sonoma Valley who just can't seem to perfect her wine, her finances, and her love life. She finds herself torn between the man she lives with and the man she loves. A letter arrives from a long-lost cousin encouraging her to travel to Italy to uncover the secret to her wine and her heart. Tension is tight around the vineyard, so she leaps at the chance. Once in Italy, her cousin notices Francesca's torment and convinces her to visit the local seer, who is known to help lost souls. The old woman propels her back through time on a heart-pounding quest where she visits three lives where her survival was in jeopardy. Armed with the secrets and truths, she finally understands how the love, lust, and revenge they have endured for centuries holds the answers to her present survival.Magna gathered Francesca's hand into her own cool gnarled ones and stroked them lightly. "Listen dearie. No one is allowing you to remain innocent and stuck on the wheel of life and death for eternity, but yourself. Even though the mind forgets, the soul remembers. Hopefully by examining these lifetimes you will understand the truth. You are responsible for the life you have—no one else."
1. Give us a brief synopsis of your latest work. Romancing the Vines is the sequel to Season of the Vineyard. It completes the saga of Francesca, Enrico, and Giancarlo. Francesca is a vintner who just can't seem to perfect her wine, her finances, and her love life. On a visit to Italy, Francesca is propelled back through time on a heart-pounding quest where she visits three lives in which her survival was in jeopardy. Armed with the secrets and truths, Francesca finally understands who the love, lust, and revenge the three of them have endured for centuries hold the answers to her present survival.2. What got you into writing? As a former school teacher and English major, I've always loved the written word. I'm one of those people who continually have her head stuck in a book or my Kindle. I started writing when I was a child, but it never took off until my own children were older and I had the "room of my own".3. What genres do you like to read and write? I like to read juicy novels with characters I'd like to sit down and chat with. I enjoy writing historical fiction, contemporary fiction, and spiritual fiction. When the story idea appears in my mind, it's my job to chip away to find the story. Sometimes it takes awhile to flush out the characters and plot.4. What is your process for developing characters? Do you people watch and base characters off of what you see? Or are your characters complete figments of your imagination? I love people watching. It's where I find some of my best characters. Sometimes I create a character like I would a recipe—a little bit of this and a little bit of that, stir it together, and look at what you've created.5. Do you have any works in mind that you've not yet written? If so, what are they? I have an entire drawer full of notebooks containing sketches of stories. Currently, I am working on a novel set in 1923 in the era of speakeasies, the mob, and illegal alcohol.6. What inspired you to write your most recent story? I had readers ask for the sequel for Seasons of the Vineyard, so I wrote Romancing the Vines. The current story I'm working on came from research during Prohibition in my city. Did you know Reno was one of the wettest cities during Prohibition and it was controlled by a mob? No, well I didn't either until I started my research.7. Where can potential readers find your work? I am on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. You can visit my website for links: www.supernovel.com8. Where can readers connect with you socially online? My website and blog: www.supernovel.com There you will find links to twitter and facebook.
Catherine MacDonald writes about vibrant, brave, strong, and hardy women. Growing up in Sacramento, California her library card was her passport, and the books she read were her adventures.Always fascinated by the written word, after college Catherine took her keen love of books to the classroom for twenty-five years.Catherine uses her dreams, visions, and experiences to create her multi-layered themes of love, relationships, and spirituality.She is the proud mother of two grown children (and son-in-law) and nana to three wonderful grandchildren.She lives in a cozy house filled with books, Lulu the labradoodle, and her husband Paul. She invites you to read her books and enter her characters' lives.
Thank you Catherine for doing the interview and letting my readers know more about you and your works. You are a pleasure to work with and love your books.
If you are interested in having Catherine MacDonald on your blog, please let me know. Also, you can read more of her strong female characters in all her books on www.supernovel.com
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Delfia thought she was a normal girl about to turn sixteen until her adoptive parents are murdered by creatures from the underworld. Her life gets thrown into chaos as she teams up with her best friend, a strange guy, and a prophetess.
She soon discovers her biological father, Hades, ordered the attack on her and her family because a prophecy names her as the one to take him down. She must first complete a set of tasks to free Persephone, her mother, from the underworld and defeat Hades.
Will she be reunited with her mother or will she get sucked into the underworld?
*Book is geared towards readers that liked Percy Jackson Series, Need Series, etc.*
Mondays are the epitome of all evil. It's just a fact.
Do you ever get those feelings deep in the pit of your stomach? The ones that make you feel all queasy and anxious? Well, that’s how I feel right now. I am standing at my locker at a way too early hour, and I am in Dragon Bitch mode; which is surprising because today is my birthday.
Normally, I love my birthday. I officially turn 16 at 11:59 tonight, and instead of reveling in the excitement, am I staring at my locker without really seeing it. I just keep trying to figure out what’s causing this annoying pinch in my stomach. I jump when I hear the locker next to mine slam shut.
"Jeez, Lyla,” I huff. “How many times do I have to tell you not to do that? Now excuse me while I find a doctor to remove my heart from my nasal passage." I’m not in the mood for the early morning antics of Lyla Browning, even if she is my best friend.
"Soooorrry, but it seems to be the only way to get your attention. I say 'Happy birthday, Dell' and what do you do? You ignore me and stare at your locker. What is up with you?"
"Nothing, just a funny feeling."
She eyes me for a minute, then shrugs her shoulders and in a matter-of-fact tone tells me, "It's probably PMS."
“Yeah, maybe I dunno...” I trail off, the feeling still bugging me. I understand that she is trying to snap me out of it so I muster up some enthusiasm and sing, “Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me.”
She perks up instantly, and before I can clamp my hand over her mouth she starts bellowing out “Happy Birthday” in the middle of the hall that is seriously starting to fill up. By the time she finishes, everyone is staring at us, and my face is burning red.
“Aww come on, you love me and you know it,” she beams.
I smile because I do love her. Lyla and I have been best friends since forever. We first met in kindergarten when this little twerp, Zach Moreno, decided to pull my hair, and she punched him square in the nose.
We’ve been joined at the hip ever since then.
“But hey, you should be thrilled you’re turning 16.” she nudges me in the ribs a little.
“Yeah, I know, but my parents still won't let me get my permit till I’m 18.”
“No offense, but your parents are a little...intense.” She says.
“What do you mean by that?” I ask getting a bit defensive.
“Well, it’s just that lately they seem to be taking your safety to the extreme. You can't have sleepovers anymore, a car or a life. I mean it’s sweet that they care, but I thought parents got more lenient the older you get.” She fidgets with her wavy blond hair, afraid that she has gone too far.
The truth is she’s not wrong. My parents are great people, and I love them, but lately they have been too over-protective. When I ask them about it they just tell me, “the real world is full of dangers, kiddo.”
and that’s the end of that conversation. “Yeah, I know, I’m sure that is just their way of showing me that they care.”
“By the way, are we still on for binge night Friday?” She sees right through my attempts to change the subject. Binge night has been happening every Friday since the 6th grade. We start off at the roller rink and end up at my place with a large bag of cheddar popcorn, candy, and cokes.
“Uh, duh.” She says rolling her eyes. She grabs her stuff out of her locker. “Come on, we have homeroom.”
I turn to grab my bag out of my locker when the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Everybody gets those feelings now and then, but it was so intense I had to shiver to shake it off.
“Dude, what is your problem? Take a picture it lasts longer.” Lyla clicks her tongue, her usual reaction when something annoys her.
I whirl around to see who she is talking to and meet the gray eyes of Alec Hales, who is staring at me intensely like he’s waiting for something to happen. He would be the hottest guy in school if he weren't so weird. He continues to stare at me unabashed. I can’t help but stare back.
“Come on,” she grabs my arm. “This guy is freaking me out” She throws him the stink eye, and we head to class.
I spend the rest of the morning stumbling through class in a daze worried about that creepy stare. I’ve never seen anything like it.
What’s worse is that I’m pretty sure he’s the reason I had a chill that ranked 100 on the creep factor. OK, Dell get a grip, I tell myself as I walk into the cafeteria.
I do my normal scan and Lyla’s waiting for me at our usual table in the corner of the room, trays in tow. We are not the least popular students, but we are definitely not a part of the in-crowd. Lyla could be, but she sticks with me. Aside from her slightly crooked nose, she is the picture perfect replica of a Barbie doll, with her blond hair, green eyes, and mile-long legs. You get the picture. Me, on the other hand, my height is OK, not too short or too tall, but my drab brown hair and beanpole body are nothing special. The only thing I have going for me is my clear blue eyes. Lyla always calls them hypnotic.
“Ugggghhh,” she whines as she rolls her shoulders back and forth. “I think the teachers are secretly evil demons sent to torture teens with tests on Mondays. Seriously, who wants to take tests on Mondays?”
“Who wants to take tests at all?”
She throws a piece of lettuce at me. With a mouth full of food she asks, “What are your birthday plans?”
“Dinner with the family.”
“Same old, same old,” she laughs “maybe we can do something special for binge night like go shopping before the roller rink.”
“Yeah, that would be...” I trail off instantly when I feel the same eerie feeling I had by my locker. I lean into Lyla and whisper, “Is Alec staring at me?” She lifts her head up, and I pull her down. “Can’t you be discreet?” I hiss.
She subtly does a sweep of the cafeteria and relaxes, “Nope; nowhere in sight. Why do you ask?”
“I just got this creepy feeling earlier and again just now. I thought maybe it was his intense stare earlier.”
“Wow, I hope your weird doesn't rub off on me. Do you think it happens to everyone when they turn 16?” she jokes.
I laugh half-heartedly unable to shake the strange feeling.
M.J. Austin is the author of the Bright Fire series and NaNoWriMo 2014 winner. She has always found the world of fantasy preferable to the real world. She channels this love of mystical worlds and creatures into her writing. She is an avid reader and proud bookworm. She has a Master's Degree in Project Management, but her true passion is writing.
When she isn't working or writing she is diving into random projects as often as possible. She lives in Tennessee with three children, husband, and three dogs.